6th May 2015, Kathmandu, Nepal. Ruku Khattri Chhetri (89) in Ramkot village, near Kathmandu, on the 6th May 2015.
This mother of 7 lived through the last major earthquake to hit Nepal 81 years ago in 1934. She remembers it clearly, she was 8 years old at that time and was carrying her little 3 year old brother outside in the fields. When the earthquake struck she kneeled down and shielded him to protect him, the ground and nearby buildings shook violently she saw a cloud of dust rise 'like fog in winter' from nearby Bimdungar village caused by all the falling buildings, it happened very fast and many people died. She stayed where she was until her grandfather came and found them - as her parents were not available. Her father had jumped from the second story of their house during the earthquake to save himself and broken his leg.
During the 2015 earthquake she was outside her house and fell to the ground when the earth shook, she found herself covered in dust from her house that had collapsed behind her , she crawled away crying for help and was soon rescued by neighbours. When asked about the future she said ‘I fear more suffering is to come since I am still alive’ .‘If another earthquake comes I want to die fast, I don’t want to be injured’. She lost one eye to cancer and is all but blind in the other.
An earthquake with magnitude 7.8 occurred near Lamjung, Nepal, 50 miles northeast of the capital Kathmandu at 06:11:26 UTC on Apr 25, 2015. The capital has seen considerable devastation including the nine-story Dharahara Tower, one of Kathmandu's landmarks built by Nepal's royal rulers as a watchtower in the 1800s and a UNESCO-recognised historical monument. It was reduced to rubble and there were reports of people trapped. Portions of historic buildings in the World Heritage gazetted site of Patan have also been destroyed as well as many buildings in the old city.
PHOTOGRAPH BY AND COPYRIGHT OF SIMON DE TREY-WHITE
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